The Sunday Talk Shows and the alphabet networks are buzzing with news of the possible government shutdown. Many are featuring live countdown clocks and hour-by-hour updates to mark the momentous occasion.
The media is making the most of this crisis, while real Americans are the ones who will suffer in the current crop of Congressional crazies succeed in their plans to hold our nation hostage.
The latest bargaining chip is approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, as Sierra reports:
What do Congressional Republicans hate as much as Obamacare? This: the possibility that President Obama will nix the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. Their current strategy re. Obamacare is to leave funding for the Affordable Care Act out of their upcoming stopgap spending bill and see if the Tea Party caucus in the Senate can persuade the Democratic majority to go along. Since the odds for that are vanishingly unlikely, the House leadership is adding further pie-in-the-sky demands to the bill–including construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
President Obama’s determination on whether building Keystone is in the national interest is not expected until next year. In June, he declared that ”Our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” To make his decision easier, the Sierra Club has put together a comprehensive report: “FAIL: How the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Flunks the Climate Test.” It would make good reading for Eric Cantor and John Boehner as well.
It’s a dangerous game of chicken our elected leaders are playing. The Neocons in Congress are doing double duty: working their best manipulative mojo on the mainstream media to blame Harry Reid for a possible shutdown while simultaneously working to raise co2 levels when they should be focused on raising the debt ceiling. Huffington Post:
The Republicans have seized onto Keystone XL as one of their top priorities and continue to posture and play games in Congress to try and force approval. The latest trick is a bogus attempt to attach pipeline approval to the budget negotiations — because clearly it’s worth shutting down the entire U.S. government so a Canadian company can profit from building an export pipeline that will only create 30 permanent American jobs.
If Obama approved the project now, it would look like he was caving to pressure from Congressional Republicans — the same Congressional Republicans who 75 percent of the country think are taking America in the wrong direction. Approval would make the president look weak-kneed and spineless, just when he’s trying to look more strong and commanding. It would be giving a major handout to the very people who are trying to take him down. And it would show the American people that Democratic leaders would rather play games inside the beltway then stand up for the values they say they believe in — remember, this is the president who said that he would “end the tyranny of oil” and “slow the rise of the oceans” during his administration.
If Obama blinks on this one and yields to the ongoing temper tantrum of these toddlers and their corporate masters, we could face a shutdown of a different sort – the environmental impact could impact generations to follow.
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